“THE BODYGUARD” LACKS ITS OWN IDENTITY

Reviewed by: Justin Williams

Somewhat Recommended

Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. film with an adaptation by Academy Award winner (Birdman) Alexander Dinelaris, The Bodyguard had its world premiere in London’s West End where it was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and winning Best New Musical at the Whatsonstage Awards.

The Bodyguard tells the story of Frank Farmer, a former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Farmer is brought on to protect Rachel Marron, who has been receiving some disturbing letters from an unknown source.

The first number of The Bodyguard is presented ala concert form, which makes sense considering that Rachel Marron is a 6 time Grammy Award winner. Unfortunately almost every song that follows is presented the same way. Which leaves me questioning the identity of The Bodyguard. Is it a musical or is it a Whitney Houston impersonator concert with scenes from The Bodyguard?  Every time that I would get into the story, I was pulled out immediately by a number that contributed nothing to furthering or extending the plot.

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Deborah Cox turns in a solid vocal performance as Rachel Marron. It’s clear that Deborah shares some ssimilarities with Rachel Marron. She looks stunning in every one of her costumes and she carries herself like a superstar.

Judson Mills gives the most enjoyable and intriguing performance of the evening as Frank Farmer. Filled with subtlties that are no doubt transferred from his film and television career, Mills makes the most of every moment he is on that stage.

Douglas Baldeo is an absolute delight to watch as Fletcher. Baldeo is so full of life and you can tell that there is nowhere he would rather be than on that stage. The kid is already a triple threat, he can dance, act, and boy can he sing.

Jasmin Richardson gives a great perfomance as Nicki Marron the sister to Rachel. Richardson has some serious pipes on her. Richardson is responsible for some of the most memorable moments of the night.

Alex Corrado, Jarid Faubel, Charles Gray, Jonathan Hadley, and Jorge Paniagua all help round out the team built to protect Rachel Marron. Each one brings a little piece of their own charm to help bring their characters to life.

Playing until February 12, 2017 The Bodyguard will be at the Orienatal Theatre, tickets can be found at www.BroadwayInChicago.com